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How to keep your pool water crystal clear, and reasons it may not be

  • 3 min read

A cloudy pool is a common problem that many pool owners face, and it can be caused by a variety of factors. Cloudy water is not only unappealing to look at but can also be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and algae. Therefore, it's essential to understand the causes of cloudy pool water and how to maintain a crystal clear and clean pool.

Reasons for Cloudy Pool Water

  1. High pH and Alkalinity: High pH and alkalinity levels can cause the water to become cloudy. This is because high levels of pH can lead to calcium and other minerals precipitating out of the water, forming cloudy particles.
  2. Poor Filtration: Inadequate filtration is another common cause of cloudy water. If the pool's filtration system isn't functioning correctly or not running for long enough, it can't remove debris, algae, and other contaminants, resulting in cloudy water.
  3. High Calcium Levels: High levels of calcium in the water can cause the water to become cloudy. This condition is known as hard water, and it can be challenging to manage. Hard water can be caused by a high concentration of minerals in the water.
  4. Chemical Imbalance: An imbalance of chemicals in the pool water can lead to cloudy water. For instance, a lack of chlorine or other sanitizers can cause bacteria and algae to thrive, resulting in cloudy water.
  5. Environmental Factors: Such as rain, wind, and debris can contribute to cloudy pool water.

How to Keep Pool Water Crystal Clear and Clean

  1. Test Water Chemistry: The first step in maintaining crystal clear water is to regularly test the pool water's chemistry. You should check pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and chlorine levels regularly to ensure that they're within the recommended range.
  2. Clean the Pool: Regularly clean the pool to remove debris and other contaminants that can contribute to cloudy water. Skim the water's surface, brush the sides, and vacuum the bottom of the pool.
  3. Maintain Proper Filtration: Ensure that the filtration system is functioning correctly and running for an appropriate amount of time. A pool filter should run for at least eight hours a day to ensure that all the water passes through the filter.
  4. Shock the Pool: Shocking the pool with chlorine or other pool shock products can help to kill off bacteria and algae that can cause cloudy water. Shocking the pool should be done once a week or as needed.
  5. Use Clarifiers: Pool clarifiers can help to remove particles that are too small for the filter to catch. Clarifiers work by coagulating the tiny particles, making them easier for the filter to remove.

The last and most commonly overlooked and least understood thing to do is PROPERLY backwash your filter.  

DE filters:

This filter type needs to be back-washed more often than a sand filter.  Then re-charged with the proper amount of Diatomaceous Earth each time you complete your backwash.  The powdery substance binds to your filter grates and is what catches all the particulate you want out of your pool.  Please either read the owners manual, or look it up online to determine the amount of DE your filter requires.  A typical tin coffee can full is equal to approximately 1 pound of DE.  Most filters require 4-6 pounds (or 4-6 tin scoops) added after each full backwash and rinse cycle.

Sand filters:

These filters require back-washing as well.  The main diffrence is you do not need to add anything to your filter after backwashing.  Backwash and rinse as suggested in your owners manual and you will be good to go.

Now that we have discussed the main ways to get your pool water crystal clear you should be able to identify some of the things you may have been overlooking or not fully considering.  Please stay tuned as my next post will be a more in depth guide to back-washing in general and all the issues I have run into in the last 20+ years.  I do hope this helps you enjoy your summer even more in 2023!